Tuna Sandwich with Fava Beans

A tuna sandwich within my reach is dangerous.  My mouth becomes seriously uncontrollable.  I can polish off sandwich after sandwich without stopping even taking time to breathe.  I grew up having a love-hate relationship with it.  Like with dairy products, I avoid any food touched with mayonnaise.  I don't like these limitations because they impede my liberty to enjoy a lot of food.  In some cases, I get to find my way through delicious alternatives.  Other times, I get to relish a few bites before I remember that I don't like anything dairy or mayonnaisey.  See, it's psychological. 

Mayo, well, it's different from the dairy products.  I can eat some dishes with it if the amount used doesn't cover the main ingredients.  So I like my tuna sandwich with a good balance of ingredients.  I loved the one that was prepared at home when I was growing up.  I never really had a cooking relationship with the kitchen back then because there was always someone taking care of our food.  The kitchen was just a place for me to eat.  My Mom slowly detached herself from cooking and turned over her recipes to whoever was in charge of the kitchen.   She would only cook if we ask for a dish that only she can do well.  She was a wonderful cook and she would have been able to create so many delicious dishes if she didn't abandon her post.  

My passion for cooking did not grow with me. Maybe because I didn't have an influential icon at home to follow or maybe because I was too busy doing other things.   I am not one of those lucky ones who had a mother or grandmother teaching invaluable cooking lessons.  Let's say I was a late bloomer. I did get these worthy lessons in this country from another person's mother, my husband's.  Italy opened my eyes in all things gastronomical.  I had good teachers, I had resources of fresh food within my reach, and the cuisine does not have any ending.  It was an open invitation to be inventive with the Mediterranean flavors. 

Now that I have established my interest in cooking, I go back now and then to my childhood dishes, my comfort zone. This is a normal tuna sandwich that everyone in the planet makes, a sandwich that is found in all bars here and probably would not interest you nor most people.  I am posting it, not because I have a certain sentimental attachment to it but because I found its unbeatable partner. Le fave (fava beans) give it an almost perfect blending.  You can forget about the lettuce or the tomatoes but don't forget to try your tuna sandwich with a bit of fava beans on top.  I'm telling you, it's good.

You can mix the beans with the tuna spread when you prepare it.  It's easier to handle when eating because I had a problem of escaping beans from my sandwich countless times.  I purposely didn't mix them together because Riccardo was also eating the tuna sandwich but didn't want the beans mixed with it.  It is green and looks like a vegetable doesn't it? 

Our words today,
Fave = fava beans / broad beans.
Tonno = tuna
Pomodoro = tomato.


Tuna Sandwich with Fava Beans

  • 1 can (120 grams) tuna chunks (preserved in olive oil preferably), drained
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • fava beans (fresh or canned)
  •  1/4 onion, minced
  • bread toasts
  • 1/2 spring onion, chopped (a normal onion can be used, about 1/4)
  • chives, chopped, for sprinkling on top (optional)
  • lettuce leaves
  • tomatoes, sliced horizontally & chopped finely
  1. In a bowl, mix the drained tuna chunks, mayonnaise, spring onions, fava beans (it's better to mix the beans with the tuna mixture so that they don't fall off your sandwich) salt & pepper.  Adjust the amount of mayonnaise according to your liking.  
  2. Cut away the sides of bread.  Toast them in a bread toaster.  
  3. In every slice of bread, layer some lettuce leaves, a slice of tomato, tuna spread, minced tomatoes & chives.
  4. Sprinkle pepper on top. 
  5. Put another slice of toasted bread on top to make it a sandwich or just keep it as an open-faced sandwich.